DEinternational Representatives

Virginia Attaway Rounds, Director, Consulting Services

Virginia Attaway Rounds has been with GACC Midwest since March 2007. She has over 15 years of business experience, including 3 in Germany. After graduating with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and German, she worked for a U.S. software company for several years, then as an intercultural trainer in Berlin, teaching communication techniques as well as business English to German professionals. Her industry focus includes machinery and automation, automotive, and energy efficiency, including electric vehicles and smart grid technologies.

Focus: Market Entry USA, Market Research, Business Partner Search, Intercultural Training
Tel.: +1 (312) 494-2163

Gerrit Ahlers, Manager, Consulting Services

Gerrit joined GACC Midwest in July 2015. Prior to joining the GACC Midwest in 2015, Mr. Ahlers lived, studied, and worked in Germany, Australia and the United States. He graduated with a degree in Business Administration with a specialization in Brand Management, Sustainability, and Strategic Management from the University of Bremen in 2010.
After graduating, Mr. Ahlers started his professional career while working for a city marketing company in Germany. He also gained experience with the German Mittlestand while working for a mid-size German consulting agency. There, he had a leading role in establishing the company’s U.S. presence and was later in charge of U.S. operations, focusing on clients out of machinery and equipment, automotive, automotive supply, and confectionery industries.
As a member of the consulting team, his focus lies on business development, market research, business partner research, site selection, mergers & acquisitions, as well as market entry services.

Focus: Market Research, Business Partner Research, Site Selection, Mergers & Acquisitions
Tel.: +1 (312) 585-8345

Jessica Ferklass, Consultant

Jessica Ferklass joined GACC Midwest in July 2014. She focusses on market entry advisory and university programs. Jessica holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Business Administration from the University of Tuebingen in Germany. During her studies she worked for several Mittelstand companies in Germany with focusses on machinery, and domestic appliance technology. Prior to her joining GACC Midwest she has lived and studied in Germany, on the west coast of the United States, and in Italy. As a member of the consulting team, her projects include market entry services, market research, business development, and university relations.

Focus: Market Entry USA, Market Research, Business Partner Search, University Programs, Smart Grid, IoT
Tel.: +1 (312) 585-8344

Justin Flaxbart, Senior Manager, Career Services

Justin Flaxbart was active in GACC Midwest’s Consulting Services department from 2006-2008 and returned in June 2011 as Manager, Consulting & Career Services. He leads GACC Midwest’s Career Services program, which specializes in recruiting bilingual professionals for external organizations, and takes part in a number of other Consulting Services projects and initiatives as well. Mr. Flaxbart holds a Bachelor of Science in International Business and German from St. Louis University and a Master of Arts in European Studies from the University of British Columbia. He previously worked for 2 years as an Executive Recruiter focusing on the renewable energy and capital equipment industries and earlier in his career taught Business English at a German university. Furthermore, he organizes and attends the quarterly HR Executive Circle seminars, which bring together HR decision-makers from GACC Midwest’s member companies to learn about and discuss a wide range of hot topics in Human Resources Management with featured expert speakers. To better advise German organizations on Human Resources matters in the US, Mr. Flaxbart regularly attends seminars and workshops related to topics such as visa/immigration regulations and employment law. Mr. Flaxbart also often works in the field of renewable energies for both Career Services and general consulting projects, and has attended trade shows such as Intersolar US and Windpower.

Focus: Career Services
Tel.: +1 (312) 644-3369

Corinna Jess, Senior Manager, Market Entry Programs & Delegations

Corinna Jess is the Manager for Clean Energy Projects at the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest. She is responsible for GACC Midwest’s market entry programs related to clean energy and sustainability and has organized numerous business delegations covering topics such as bioenergy, solar, wind, and energy efficiency. As the lead author of the 2014 market study “Biogas and Organic Waste Management in the U.S.” published by the German Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy, she is currently expanding GACC Midwest’s network related to organic waste management and agriculture. Prior to joining GACC Midwest in 2010, Corinna spent three years working in marketing and sales at a large German food manufacturer, as well as one year at an intellectual property and technology firm in the U.K. Corinna holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Business Administration from the Berlin School of Economics.

Focus: Bio, Solar, Wind, and Agriculture Projects
Tel.: +1 (312) 665-0976

Dominique Lellek, Manager, Strategic Marketing Services

Dominique’s focus lies on our Virtual Office as well as U.S. Market Entry Services, such as market and business partner research. To support virtual office clients she is managing individual marketing and business development projects that range from designing brochures, basic websites or writing press releases to handling the client’s logistics, distributor/ customer relations or tradeshow planning and organization. She holds a Bachelor's degree from the HTW Dresden in International Business majoring in Marketing, Business Strategy and Supply Chain Management. Prior to joining GACC Midwest in 2013, she has lived and studied abroad in France and Russia. Her main industry focus lies on water and water infrastructure. She continues to expand our water related network within GACC Midwest’s German American Water Initiative by attending tradeshows and conventions such as WWETT, AWWA ACE or WEFTEC for several years now.

Focus: Virtual offices, Water Programs, Marketing, Business Development, Tradeshow Support
Tel.: +1 (312) 377-6131

Nadine Schieban, Senior Manager, Market Entry Programs, Delegations & Events

Nadine Schieban has been with GACC Midwest since February 2012. After graduating with a degree in Business Administration and Non-Profit Management, Ms. Schieban worked for 5 years as a senior manager for marketing and events at Germany Trade & Invest in Berlin where she was responsible for the planning and execution the wide array of marketing activities and events for the promotion of the German ICT, Logistics, Food & Beverage as well as the Consumer Goods and Business Services industries in order to attract international companies interested to enter the German markets.
As senior manager at GACC Midwest, Ms. Schieban works in the consulting team in order to organize especially business conferences and business delegations from Germany in the fields of renewable energies, energy efficiency and sustainable urban planning and infrastructure systems. With her experience, she also supports projects, e.g. workshops, seminars, receptions and delegation trips especially with focus on machinery and equipment, the transportation industry as well as the plastics industry and medical technologies. Besides, Ms. Schieban oversees the planning, organizing and realizing of GACC Midwest events, especially networking events and German night receptions on the occasion of various trade fairs, e.g. IMTS, Windpower or WEFTEC and including accompanying marketing activities.

Focus: Events and Delegations
Tel.: +1 (312) 494-2180

Svenja Schroeder, Consultant

Svenja has joined GACC Midwest in August 2014. As a member of the consulting team, Ms. Schroeder works on a variety of government and energy efficiency projects such as the machinery, food and transportation industry. Prior to joining the GACC Midwest Ms. Schroeder received her Bachelor in International Business and Hispanic Studies from Illinois Wesleyan University. She grew up in Hamburg Germany, then moved to Chicago, IL during High School and completed her studies in the United States.

Focus: Machinery, Food Manufacturing, Energy Efficiency in Industry
Tel.: +1 (312) 561-9791


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